Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Papanasam Nava Kailayam

In memory of the historical episode, Lord Papanaswamy and Ulagambal provide Kalyana Kolam Darshan to Sage Agastya on Chitrai Vishu in the grandest of the festival at this temple 

The richest temple in the entire region gets an annual income that tops Rs. 1crore but the salary of the priests still remains pretty low and the temple is under staffed as well
The first among the Nava Kailayam temples is located at the foot of the Agasthiyar Falls in Papanasam, just under 10kms from Ambasamudram.

When Sage Agastya was dejected at not being able to witness the wedding of Shiva and Parvathi in Kailasam as he was given the task of balancing the earth by standing in the South of India, the divine couple promised to come to his place and provide an exclusive darshan.

When Sage Agastya was undertaking penance in the Pothigai Hills, it was here at Papanasam that Shiva and Parvathi provided the Kalyana Kolam darshan to him on the Chitrai Vishu day. 

A Unique story – Liberation from Dosham
A sister and brother were separated soon after birth. When they grew into teenagers, they married unaware of their earlier relationship and were hence afflicted with a dosham. Providing a solution to them, the learned rishis handed them a black blanket and ask the two to have bath in different rivers.  They were to be liberated from the dosham when the blanket turned white. Having had bath in various rivers, the two came here to Papanasam and invoked the blessings of the divine couple after bathing in the river. To their delight, the blanket turned white. Hence this temple is believed to be one of liberation from all kinds of Dosham and came to be referred to as ‘Paapa’ ‘Naasam’.

Huge Income but not shared among the staff
Given the popularity of the temple as one that liberates all the doshams of devotees offering sincere prayers, devotees throng the temple in large numbers even on normal weekdays.  In recent times, the annual income of the temple has topped Rs. 1crore. And yet much against HR & CE's claims and stated position of sharing the income of the temple for its own development, the comparative salary of the priests remains pretty low despite the huge income that accrues to the temple. The temple also seems understaffed, currently.  And the Raja Gopuram wears an old ‘Black and White’ look with repair works not having taken place for almost two decades.

It was also here after having invoked the blessings of Lord Shiva that Indra was liberated from Brahmma Hathi Dosham for having directed his Vajra Astram at his Guru in anger. 
Pandya Period Construction
It is believed that the outside mandapams and the temple in its current form and structure were constructed during the rule of Vikrama Singa Pandya. Many fish symbols are seen on the pillars and walls as an indication of the Pandya Period construction.

The 11 day Brahmotsavam is the biggest festival in the region with the Theppam on Chitrai Visu and the Chariot Festival on the last day of Panguni. It is during this festival that the Lord goes on a 2km procession to Vikrama Singa Puram.

Monkeys are seen in large numbers inside the temple complex and have the ability to catch the devotees by surprise. And once caught unaware, it is likely one will have to follow them atop the Pothigai Hills to recover the bag.
The temple is open from 6am-1pm and 430pm-8pm Contact Hari Hara Subramanian Bhattar @ 94874 51547.

When here, also visit Agasthiyar Koil, 2kms from here. Also, visit Agasthiyar Falls, one where water flows perpetually right through the year.

The 2nd among the Nava Kailayam temples is about 25kms from here at Cheran Maha Devi

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